French, est. 1885
Vase, c. 1921
28 x 23.3 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. Arthur King, Montréal
René Lalique (1860–1945) is perhaps the best-known glassmaker of the early twentieth century. Following his apprenticeship as a goldsmith, he worked initially as a freelance jewelry designer for leading firms, such as Cartier and Boucheron. In 1885 Lalique opened his own firm specializing in jewelry and glassware, quickly emerging as a leader in the Art Nouveau aesthetic and, later, Art Deco. He turned almost exclusively to glass production around 1910, and eventually devoted his practice to creating high-quality, mass-produced glass. Characteristic of Lalique production is the use of frosted glass that allowed for easy reading of the relief texture, as well as the translucency of the glass. Both of these vases in the WAG collection are wonderful examples of the Art Deco aesthetic with strong diagonals, exotic foliage, and stylized subjects.